While this winter in the Northeast has not been the most ideal for snow so far, we visited Okemo with our children mid-December. We wanted to check out the lodging, mountain and features for families to share with you for your family. Is it worth the trip? YES!
Okemo Mountain is located in Central Vermont, roughly 3.5 hours from Putnam County. It is accessible by car, train or plane. Just three hours from Dutchess County and 4 from lower Westchester. We personally drove with our gear and snowboards for our visit.
Okemo Resort has activities for everyone. Not a skier or snowboarder? Take a fitness class, spa visit, or one of the outdoor adventures offered. Even relaxing by one of the many fire places around on in your room. Snow Cat Excursions is available to see the mountain like you never experienced before, $40 per person and $50 riding “shotgun” with the driver. Each ride is about an hour with time to get out at top of mountain. Advanced reservations are required and weather dependent.
Jackson Gore is home to two pools, one connected with the Inn and one in the Spring House. The one inside the Inn features an indoor/outdoor pool and two hot tubs outside, along with one hot tub inside. My kids thought it was the coolest thing to be swimming in December, we stayed in the hot tub even while it was raining. The Spring House features an indoor pool with slide, a kiddie pool with mini slide and hot tub. Fitness classes, racquetball, spa services are also inside the Spring House, daily passes and memberships can also be purchased, swimming is included with your stay and other features have fees.
Nordic Center features snowshoeing, nordic skiing and indoor golf training center. Jackson Gore is also the home to Snow Tubing, the Tipper Ripper Mountain Coaster and the Ice House which is a covered outdoor ice skating rink. Each activity does have a small fee.
Okemo Resort Accommodations
Okemo Mountain has eight different resort properties: Solitude Village, Winterplace, Kettlebrook, The Mountain Lodge at Okemo, Okemo Village, Brookhaven, Okemo Trailside and Jackson Gore Village. We stayed at the Jackson Gore Inn in the village. For us it was a one stop shop with everything right there, ski lessons, pools, shops, and underground parking. Our family of four had a 2 bedroom condo with loft for second bed, two bathrooms, full kitchen and fireplace. We had breakfast in our room daily and warming by the fire place while the kids played games and drew pictures was pleasurable. For the kids, I felt Jackson Gore Inn was the best place for us to be, in the middle of everything it offers.
Childcare is also offered at Jackson Gore for kids six months through four years daily, reservations required. Also on Saturday nights from December 19- March 12, they have Kid’s Night Out babysitting in two groups, 6 months- 6 years and 7- 12 years old.
Okemo offers Ski & Ride School for all ages. While we didn’t have a chance to check out the lessons for the kids, we did find out about them. Lessons are located at Jackson Gore Base, which was where we stayed. They have lessons for all ability levels, both private and group. They have both half and full day lessons, full day includes lunch. Best advice is label all equipment and clothing for your kids, if they are like mine, they end up taking off half the stuff I send them in. You are able to rent equipment or bring your own. For guests staying at Jackson Gore there is complimentary ski check, making getting ready a little easier.
All over Okemo there are many places to eat at the resorts and lodges. While the boys went riding, my daughter and I ate lunch at Sitting Bull at the Clock Tower Base Lodge, great nachos, chicken tenders and hot chocolates. Large TVs, music and warmth between runs, great views of the lift to watch the kids come down the mountain. We tried take out from the Coleman Brook Tavern at Jackson Gore since snowboarding wiped out the kids and they went to bed early. Great menu choices and there is a children’s menu. Other restaurants, bars, delis, cafeterias and food windows can be found. Rooms with kitchens can also be used to make your own meals. During peak times, there is even Starbucks counters at two of the lodges.
Okemo Mountain consists of 121 trails, 20 lifts and 10 terrain parks. New this year is a second orange bubble lift located at Jackson Gore. The trails are 32% green, 37% blue and 31% black for the expert skiers and boarders. Okemo lifts also use the RFID cards for easy access, you wear them in your pocket and the lift gates open upon scanning. The kids thought this was so cool, although a few times needed to be picked up to have their cards read. These cards can be purchased in advanced online and reloaded. Looking to save money? Mid-Week savings for stays Sunday through Thursday.
Disclosure: Complimentary lodging and services were received to facilitate our review. No other compensation was exchanged. Our feelings and thoughts are our own and honest and truthful.